Organizing my Office ~ Before and After

So last week I blogged about how I removed my photo albums from my office closet and how that was the catalyst for my entire office getting an overhaul.  Some of you were shocked that my photo albums got relocated to the garage, others were all for me just throwing them out (I have them backed up four didn’t ways and stored in two different locations).  But here’s the thing you might not know.  I still enjoy having prints to look at, I just prefer albums that don’t take up huge amounts of space.  My favorite method to do this is with photo books.  They are so easy to create and thin in size plus they look pretty sitting out on a coffee table without taking over the coffee table, you know.

The main thing to remember here is that if you have a small home with not a lot of storage space, you are going to have to make some hard decisions about your stuff.  Society reacts harshly when you announce to the world that you are moving your albums out to the garage (which is heated by the way) BUT I now have a new closet that has become a wonderful space to store so many other things that were cluttering up my home.  Do I wish I still had my albums in the house, of course but I refuse to live in my home with too much stuff (clutter isn’t always just the stuff we don’t need and love) when I still have options available to me for storage, even if those options and decisions aren’t ideal or hard to make.

De-cluttering can be challenging for sure but I can assure you the effort is so worth it.  That’s how I feel about my closet.  What I had to do to reclaim this prime real estate in my home has rejuvenated me.  I feel lighter with less stuff around me and I feel like I can think and breath again.  It’s this other side of the clutter mountain that has me addicted to purging and organizing and the freedom it brings to my life.  There is no secret or magic potion, it’s available to anyone, anytime.  You just have to decide to do it.

Now let’s get back to my office shall we?  Gosh that was a digression if I ever did see one.  I never sit down to write that kind of stuff, my fingers just go and I let God .  My prayer is that it helps someone move forward in their organizational journey.

First thing I had to do with my space was analyze it.  What did I need to change in my office space in order to maximize my efficiency, how did I want it to function, what items were negotiable and non-negotiable for going back in.  This is all part of the planning step of the PROCESS.  It’s so helpful to do this right from the beginning.  Here were my goals:

  1. Reduce visual clutter
  2. Bring in another desk of some sort to function as a second workspace
  3. Make space for my craft supplies that used to reside in my daughter’s closet (she needed the shelving in hers now to accommodate her homeschooling books – yes a new adventure for us!)

That’s it, those were my three objectives.  Once I had them written down in front of me the task at hand didn’t seem quite so overwhelming.  Let’s take a look at the before and after pictures before.

Office before:

Office after.  Excess removed.  Side table top de-cluttered.  Extra chair gone.

Office before:

Office after with a new table added.

With the table opened up:

Office before:

Office after:

The filing cabinet went into the closet and the plastic drawer unit that holds our light bulbs and batteries went downstairs into the laundry room.

Closet before:

Closet after:

My husband cut away part of the wire shelving so we could move the “pretty” filing cabinet into the closet and out of sight.

Craft supplies went onto the top shelf after some serious purging.  My daughter got her shelf back in her room 🙂

Yay, all my goals were met and it feels great!!

I will go into more details about the space in a separate post from this one specifically with regards to paper organization.

If you’ve got any questions about my office, please let me know in the comments.  Thanks everyone!

What have you been organizing lately?

Linking up at Somewhat Simple

Filed under: Before and After, Clutter Control, Office, Purging


19 Responses to Organizing my Office ~ Before and After

  1. 2
    Cinda says

    I was wondering what site you use to make your photo books. I used to scrapbook but just hate the thought of passing tons of big huge albums to my son…. I’ve been wanting to start with photo books but haven’t done it yet. Are you able to type narrative in them too? I love your new closet!

    • 2.1
      Laura says

      My favorite site is Shutterfly…really simple to do and they have some fun themes. Yes you can add narrative if you want to or not if you’d rather not 🙂

  2. 3
    Judy says

    Nice job! I can see why the photo albums were stressing you out (you have a lot!). I live in a small house too and the room that stresses me out is my tiny kitchen. Have you done any blog posts about small kitchens with little counter space?

  3. 4
    Tracy @ says

    Great job, Laura! I love how you purged and relocated your photos to the garage because it worked for you. Knowing that the garage is terrible for photos, I appreciate you evaluating your situation and making good changes for you.

    My latest organizing project was de-cluttering our outside toy chest from our summer play. Wow . . . it feels great having that hideaway cleared out. Happy organizing!

  4. 5
    Jo says

    I think you were right to move your photo albums – I have done some major pruning of mine, but sadly have nowhere else to keep them but the place they are now. I am also moving over to photobooks.

    I live in the UK, houses are smaller here, and yes, that means some difficult decisions about what to keep (and where to keep it) and what to pass on/donate/throw away.

    Your office looks great!

  5. 6
    Marcia @ Organising Queen says

    So I always knew we were secret twins but this seals it for me 🙂

    I have that exact same table (mine folds out on two sides) – I painted mine green though (well, not me – but I chose the colour and delegated. That counts, right?). And I have the same cupboard (also the same green).

    Hey, I should take some pics of mine and get a post up.

    I LOVE that your photos are moved out – you know my thoughts – whatever works for YOU. Ours are in the lounge (living room) but I bought a storage ottoman so the inside is completely empty 🙂

  6. 7
    Dural says

    Very nice job!

  7. 8
    M the Organizer says

    Laura, I appreciate how you took a space that already looked organized but made changes to make it even more simplified. it’s amazing how much our needs and spaces evolve over time. I love to see the transformation. thanks!

  8. 9
    eaglenestmomma says

    I just couldn’t keep up with the huge thick photo albums – I still need to sit down and redo about 4 of them that fell off of the shelf 13 or 14 years ago ….

    Then I got a digital camera.

    THEN I discovered blogging. It has become my photo album and scrap book, as well as baby book and so much more. I have quite a few family and friends that follow the blog, so I try to post pics of the cousins as well. Many of the older relatives are overjoyed that I do this “for them”. I quit trying to explain auto mailing to them. 😉

  9. 10
    Tim Piazza says

    I noticed that you haven’t done anything special with electric cords and cables. Excess cables are a pet peeve of mine. I recently started using these devices called “Coil” that I can stick behind my desk with velcro and wrap extra cords on. They have a website but the best deal seems to be on their Facebook page at

  10. 12
    Hilary says

    I too would love to see how you would organize a “very small” kitchen..We live in a small apartment and doesn’t have alot of storage space…


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